Friday, September 7, 2012


Drawing inspiration from the death-squad murders of several Gypsy families in Hungary in 2008, director Bence Fliegauf's chilling and unforgettable real-life horror story follows a family whose dreams of emigration and escape are suddenly, horribly destroyed.


Following his hyper-stylized 2010 sci-fi film Womb, Hungarian director Bence Fliegauf comes back down to earth with this shattering drama that lays bare his homeland's deep-rooted racism.

Drawing inspiration from the cold-blooded murders of six Romani families between 2008 and 2009 — whose houses were firebombed with Molotov cocktails, and the residents then shot by the band of unknown killers as they ran outside to escape the flames — Just the Wind depicts the last hours in the lives of the sixth group of victims, a family whose dreams of emigration are suddenly, horribly destroyed.

As the dawn breaks, Mari (Katalin Toldi) and her two children crawl out of bed to face another day. Working as a cleaning lady, tethered to her ailing father and holding on to the hope of an impending move to Toronto that stubbornly refuses to materialize (her husband is already there, hopping to secure passage for the rest of the family),

Mari is a hard-working woman in a hostile environment. Mari's daughter Anna (Gyöngyi Lendvai) is studious and does her best to stay out of trouble (to the extent of walking away from a schoolmate's potential rape), seeking solace and reassurance from a Skype session with her absent father.

Her younger son Rio (Lajos Sárkány) ditches school to pilfer supplies from neighbours in order to outfit his secret hideout, which serves as his buffer against the terrors of everyday life. And that terror is encroaching ever closer: even as the Romani community desperately spreads neighbourhood watches over the countryside on the lookout for the roving bands of death squads, the shadow of doom begins to fall over Mari and her family.

Stripping his narrative down to its bare bones and slowly accumulating tension through an ominous sound design and carefully placed bursts of music, Fliegauf builds a memorably menacing atmosphere.

But it's the performances of his actors — all of them non-professionals recruited from rural Romani settlements — that truly bring the horror home, illustrating the untiring will of a people naturally geared towards survival — which makes their characters' foretold fates all the more tragic and unforgettable.

BY Dimitri Eipides


Background on the content of the film:

Hungary's National Film Fund has selected "Just the Wind," as the country's entry for next year's Academy Awards

Read more here:
The Oscar for best foreign film is awarded to one of five nominations selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from the international entries.

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